Mill Creek MetroParks Ford Nature Center Receives $1 Million Gift

The campaign to renovate Mill Creek MetroParks Ford Nature Center received a $1 million challenge grant from the Sand Hill Foundation of Menlo Park, California. The Sand Hill Foundation is a private family foundation established by the late Tom Ford and Susan Ford in 1995. The $3 million campaign to renovate the 106 year old former Robinson Mansion, which houses the Ford Nature Center, has raised $1 million to date. The challenge grant offered by the Sand Hill Foundation will match new donations to the campaign up to $1 million.

The estate was originally gifted to Mill Creek MetroParks in 1968 by the heirs of the late Judge John W. Ford. After a brief period of hosting the park’s administration offices, the site was transformed into the Ford Nature Center in 1972. Since then, many generations of Valley residents have enjoyed the exhibits, programs, walking trails and special events contained within the MetroParks. The Center receives over 14,000 school children visits every year.

“On behalf of the staff of the MetroParks and the board of directors of the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation, I would like to express my gratitude to Susan Ford Dorsey for this generous gift. This gift will allow us to not only extend the mission of educating the park’s visitors about the natural wonders of the world for generations to come, but it also extends the wonderful legacy of the Ford Family here at Mill Creek,” says Chris Litton, Mill Creek MetroParks Director of Development.

Mill Creek MetroParks Parking Lot Closures

Multiple parking lots throughout Mill Creek Park will be temporarily closed for the MetroParks annual pavement markings project. The work is scheduled to begin on Thursday, October 25, 2018, and will continue for several days. Lots will reopen once vehicular traffic is permitted. Several of the prominent lots scheduled for work include the following:

·         East Golf Bike & Hike Trail – South (State Route 224 Parking Lot)

·         Golf Course – South Lot

·         Ford Nature Center Parking Area

·         Pioneer Pavilion

·         Lower Bears Den – East and West

Several minor lots along West Newport Drive and West Glacier Drive will also be affected. While the lots are closed, the facilities they support will remain open and accessible for public use. Rentals and scheduled programming will not be impacted by this project. Please use alternate parking lots to access these facilities when lots are closed.


In the event of inclement weather, the work schedule will be delayed and adjusted accordingly.

Mill Creek Park Golf Staff Win Prestigious Northern Ohio PGA Awards

Mill Creek Golf Course Head Professional, Andy Santor has won the 2018 Northern Ohio PGA Sections Teacher of the Year Award. The “PGA Teacher of the Year Award” bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional who has performed outstanding services as a golf teacher and coach. The Teacher of the Year Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional who is an outstanding teacher of golf among the ranks of PGA membership. This award is based on a professional’s overall performance in teaching; unusual, innovative and special teaching programs initiated or implemented; articles published; as well as outstanding golfers the professional has instructed.


Mill Creek MetroParks PGA Director of Golf, Brian Tolnar also took home the 2018 Northern Ohio PGA Sections Merchandiser of the Year Award. The Merchandiser of the Year Award signifies the PGA Professional who has excelled as a business person in merchandising and promotion of the game of golf.  Demonstration of skill in planning and promotion of sales by presenting products to his/her market on a timely basis, and through the use of specialized merchandising techniques that include display and advertising. The PGA honors PGA Professionals in three categories: Private, Public and Resort facilities. This marks the third time Brian has achieved this award dating back to 2016 for the Northern Ohio PGA section while at Mill Creek Golf Course and in 2013 for the Western New York PGA Section while at Blue Heron Hills Golf Club in Rochester, NY. 


An awards ceremony hosted by the Northern Ohio PGA Section was held on Monday, October 22, 2018 at the Westfield Country Clubs Cary Blair Center in Westfield Center, OH.

Mill Creek Golf Course to hold Snowbird Scramble Tournament

The 4th Annual Snowbird Scramble Tournament at Mill Creek Golf Course will take place on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. The event format is a four player team scramble with severe pin placements. Teams can be made up of any combination men, women, seniors or juniors. Men will play the white tee markers, women will play the red markers, seniors (60+) & juniors (16 & under) will play the gold tee markers. Entry Fee of $45/Player, $180/Team includes: greens fees, cart fees, chili cookout, event purse and skill event prizes. An optional skins game will be available during the day of play. Register by stopping in or calling the Mill Creek Golf Course at 330.740.7112.

For more information about the Mill Creek Golf Course, visit our website at

Notice of MetroParks Standing Committee Meetings

The Horticulture Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Monday, October 22, 2018, at 6 p.m. in McMahon Hall at the MetroParks Farm.


The Community Engagement Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Friday, October 26, 2018, at 10 a.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.

Mill Creek MetroParks Road Closures

The following roads in Mill Creek MetroParks will be closed to vehicular traffic as well as cyclists and pedestrians from approximately 7 a.m. until Noon on Sunday, October 21, 2018 for the Youngstown Peace Race:


• High Drive

• Chestnut Hill Drive

• East Park Drive

• Valley Drive

• West Cohasset Drive

• Bears Den Drive

• West Drive

• West Glacier Drive

• Price Road

• Price Road entrance of Fellows Riverside Gardens


Always use caution when driving on MetroParks roads as many of these roads are also used by pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrians and bicyclists should be reminded to also use caution and be aware of vehicular traffic when on these roads. For more information about Mill Creek MetroParks, visit our website at

Family Halloween Bash to be held at Lanterman’s Mill

Mill Creek MetroParks will host the Family Halloween Bash at Lanterman’s Mill on Saturday, October 20 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Dress in your Halloween finest for a child friendly party for all ages! Enjoy music and dancing, snacks, games, a costume competition, and more. Adults must be accompanied by a child.


Admission is $3 for Mahoning County residents, $5 for non-residents if registered and paid by October 17, 2018. Fees for late admission or walk-ins (limited space) are $5 for residents and $7 for non-residents. Sponsored by WKBN 27 First News


For more information or to register, call Ford Nature Center at 330.740.7107 or visit our website at

East Park Drive to Temporarily Close for Bridge Improvement Project

A section of East Park Drive in Mill Creek Park will be closing on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, for a bridge improvement project. The project consists of improvements to the Idora Bridge, located on East Park Drive between Canfield Road (State Route 62) and Valley Drive in Mill Creek Park. The project will address bridge, roadway, and roadside components to improve and extend infrastructure function and lifespan, address stormwater drainage issues, improve aesthetics and enhance park user safety. Project improvements include cleaning and waterproofing concrete, cleaning and tuck-pointing stone masonry, removing and replacing concrete walk and curb, installation of compacted aggregate shoulders, asphalt pavement planing, placing intermediate and surface courses of asphalt concrete, replacing wood posts and railing, replacing drainage structures, installing new pavement markings and miscellaneous related items.


The project was awarded to Foust Construction Inc. at a total cost of $193,838.00. The MetroParks successfully applied for a federal Surface Transportation Program grant, administered through Eastgate Regional Council of Governments. The grant will provide up to 80% of the total project cost.


The project should be completed in approximately sixty (60) days. In the event of inclement weather, the work schedule will be delayed and adjusted accordingly. Throughout the project, traffic will be maintained on East Park Drive to the Lanterman’s Mill main parking lot. Mill overflow parking at the Idora parking lot will be maintained for the majority of the project, with periodic closures due to various construction activities.

Notice of October Board Meeting

The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, of Mill Creek MetroParks is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at 6 p.m. in McMahon Hall, at the MetroParks Farm, on Rt. 46 in Canfield. The agenda will be available on the website after 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

Civil Air Patrol Training to take place in MetroParks

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) will be performing search and rescue training exercises on Saturday, October 6, 2018 in various Mill Creek MetroParks areas. Training will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the Scholl Recreation Area, continuing on trails throughout the day, and will conclude at approximately 3:00 p.m. Members will be in uniform and will have a marked van in the park for these exercises.